Week of September 17, 2003

A Flying Shame
Follow the money trail: Bruce Rushton wrote a really great in-depth article about the expansion of Lambert Airport ["Tailspin," September 10]. Our mayor here in Bridgeton, Conrad Bowers, has maintained all along that the expansion wasn't necessary, as did the pilots and air traffic controllers. Another interesting side of the story would be who is making the money from the expansion project? How are they connected to airport director Colonel Leonard Griggs and St. Louis City politics? Could the whole expansion have been about creating one generation of millionaires? It's beginning to look like our community was destroyed for no good reason except to provide billions of dollars' worth of work for chosen contractors.
Sharon Christopher

Thampy Very Much
Too homey for the RFT: We just read "Breakfast of Champions," and it was so downright homey, I could hardly believe I was reading the Riverfront Times. I was especially impressed with the fact that, although an earlier RFT article labeled George an "obnoxious evangelical" [Luke Y. Thompson, "Speakin' Spell," June 4], you guys turned it around to commend this young man and his family for standing up for their beliefs. Hats off to the RFT.
Brad and Gloria Baraks
Des Peres

Another raspberry for Luke: Mike Seely's article on George Thampy was wonderfully written and very interesting. After getting a sense of what George is like from that story, I think film critic Luke Y. Thompson owes the Thampy family -- and especially George -- a big apology. Time to grow up and become tolerant, Luke.
Eileen Pheiffer
University City

Hamburger Helpers
More burgers, more buns: Thanks so much to Rose Martelli for the burger rundown ["The Beast With Two Buns," September 3]. Hubby and I are carnivores and are always up for a good burger. There is one place in St. Louis that I have found to have a pretty decent burger, and that's Dulany's, in south county, just south of I-270 off Tesson Ferry Road in a strip mall with a Walgreen's (of course). Worth a try. They also have very good hot wings. My one criticism is that their preparation of food is inconsistent.

However, for the mother of all burgers, you must go to New Orleans. There is a little place on the edge of the French Quarter called Port of Call, on Esplanade Avenue. They have the best burger I have ever tasted, and I have tasted a lot of burgers. The meat is obviously never frozen, and the burger comes with freshly grated cheddar cheese on it -- not melted, but just at room temperature, which really brings out the flavor of the cheddar. Sigh. And you know the cheddar has just been shredded, because there's none of that whitish stuff on it to indicate it has been lying around. Also, the quantity of cheddar they give with the burger -- probably about a quarter-cup apiece -- rocks! To top it all off, they don't serve those damned typical fries, but rather a fluffy baked potato, which can be ordered loaded (or not) with sour cream, bacon bits and that heavenly cheddar. Slurp.

Thanks again!
Beth Ryan
St. Louis

In hamburger heaven: Rose Martelli's witty and well-written treatment of the local hamburger scene was a delight to read. To those of us who find food a joy and an inspiration, it's gratifying to have a local writer who treats her subject and the language with such sensitivity and pep. I look forward to more of her entertaining and informative work. Rose is a rose!
Christian S. Saller
St. Louis

From slurp to slur: Like Rose Martelli, I love hamburgers, and I began reading her September 3 review with great interest. Sadly, though, Ms. Martelli lost me with a comment she made about some St. Louis undergrads taking over a local restaurant "like a roving pack of retards."

My friends with developmental disabilities do not "rove" in "packs." After work they like to go out for dinner at some of the places mentioned in the article. My friend Debra, in particular, is a cheeseburger connoisseur and could give Ms. Martelli a run for her money as the "unofficial hamburger tour guide of St. Louis."

It's extremely sad that a flippant, inconsiderate comment, used to make the article more "hip," is what I, and doubtless many other readers, will remember from what could have been a very good story.
Dina Young
St. Louis

A slap in the face: I sat in shock Wednesday when I felt slapped in the face during Rose Martelli's review of local burger joints. I expected to be amused and maybe even learn something new and was enjoying the article until Ms. Martelli described Wash. U. undergrads as a "roving pack of retards." It is petty and demeaning to use this sort of terminology. People with mental retardation deserve the same respect and opportunities that some have chosen to give Ms. Martelli. Shame on you, Ms. Martelli, and shame on the RFT for not editing out this ugly bit of commentary.
Sharon Spurlock
St. Louis

Wheel Life
Well spoke: Damn good piece on the Gateway Cup [Nicholas Phillips, "Renaissance du Roadie," August 27]! I wasn't be able to race this year, but I was there busting my ass for the Sharks on the sidelines.

Thanks for the great article and the RFT's great attempts at helping people to see how great cycling is.
Mary Homan
St. Louis

Welcome to America
A reasoned exchange of ideas: I must comment on Rajeev Prasad's letter [August 13] concerning his perception of Western impatience.

If you are not happy with the way we Westerners view life and what we receive happiness from, please feel free to take your Third World ass back to your Third World country and again enjoy cooking your food with a fire made from cow dung. Yummy.
Claude Kurtz

Beer Bust
Ad nauseam: Regarding Geri L. Dreiling's July 23 story "Stick to Mich": I am thrilled to learn someone besides myself is offended by these tasteless images. I live in Creve Coeur with my thirteen-year-old daughter and fifteen-year-old son. I would never subject my children to sexist images of women in our home because I encourage them to develop a wholesome respect for women, women's bodies and sex. So every time we drive the stretch of Olive Boulevard between Lindbergh and Interstate 270, I cringe. I had contacted the City of Creve Coeur when these images where put up to voice my complaint. The reply I received was "Sorry, we have no control over it."

I work very hard to help my children develop wholesome self-images, so I am very angry that public advertising in my community, where I pay taxes, is allowed to thwart my efforts. My kids cannot choose to ignore these images; they have them pushed in their faces day after day. We all know kids are impressionable. When they have an idea repeated to them over and over, they begin to believe it. When I think that this advertising, with its only goal being increased market share, is "protected" by law, it nauseates me. When will we have such laws to protect our children?

I totally support the creator of the stickers. Thanks for caring!
Mary M. Montrey
Creve Coeur

Back to the Airport
Hubless: Surely, in all of the Post-Dispatch editorials there should be the famous words of RCGA honcho Richard C.D. Fleming saying that the main reason that MasterCard decided to stay in St. Louis is because of the expansion of Lambert to provide better air service [Unreal, "Hubbub," July 23].

Now that flights out of Lambert are going to be cut to 207 daily, mainly served by puddle-jumping aircraft, leaving Lambert as a near non-international airport, can any major corporations here be happy?
Rowan Raftery

Off Key
They're not singing along at the Bungalow: In reference to "Karaoke Dokey" in your June 25 issue: Jason Toon was not so "in tune" with his rundown of the events that occurred at Dino's Bungalow in South St. Louis.

Dino passed away some years ago, rest his soul. The establishment has been known as Super's Bungalow for about six years now. The Saturday night referenced in the article was actually a private party. The entertainment for the evening was not karaoke, thus no 60-disc changer or song books. They were friends of the birthday girl, invited, and came through in a huge way with less than a week's notice. And they did pull off several requests that were not part of the original ensemble. Had Toon made one single inquiry, he could have been informed of all these facts. Had he done his homework, he probably would have never shown up, since the Bungalow hasn't put on karaoke for a few months. Is Jason a blind man? I must know, as there were balloons and party signs everywhere -- not to mention the "Super's Bungalow" sign just over the bar right as you walk in the front door.
Karin Olive
St. Louis

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